Photographs 8, 9 and 10 were where I aimed to show that the destination had been reached but in a fairly unique way. Here, I managed to utilise the creative landscape ideas I had been thinking about in: My Most Lucid Thoughts on Creative Landscape Photography Collated..
Where with all the prior shots in this assignment I had endeavoured to show movement, the concept used in these three photographs, I felt was one of stillness and perhaps clarity. My reasoning behind this was that while starting the journey through to travelling the main bulk of it via train and some on foot; here the destination had been reached. In contrast to these prior shots, I wanted to suggest that when the typical journeyer to Brighton had reached their destination, they tended to relax and enjoy the beach and to a certain degree the satisfaction reaching their destination could potentially bring.
In short, my idea behind the three photographs (8, 9 and 10) was to combine the (almost inevitable, nowadays!) tourist ‘selfie’ photograph , with something a bit more profound in the form of a ‘window to the soul’ concept. I tried to create an illusion that the viewer was looking at the tourist/person who had reached their destination and seeing through them to whatever was directly behind them. I carefully chose what was behind me (the tourist/person who had reached their destination) to portray my understanding of what was a part of my image of Brighton. The reason I chose myself as the tourist/person who had reached their destination was so the viewer was offered an insight into what mattered to me concerning Brighton. Also but more obscurely, the use of a wireless remote to trigger the camera to take the image in two of the three shots, conveyed that these were indeed contrived ‘selfie’ shots.
After making the ‘destination’ photographs for Brighton, I realised that this idea had been very difficult for me to carry out. I reckoned I had been quite successful with realising the concept but there was still lots of room for improvement. Because there were so many variables in play while attempting to make the idea in my head become material; my overall feeling, when looking back, was one of quiet satisfaction. The reason it was only quiet satisfaction, rather than just satisfaction, was the room for improvement that was obvious to me. If possible, I would like to go back and pay close attention to detail so that the illusion of looking through the person became more stark. While this illusion had worked in my opinion (and better than I had hoped for), I felt I could better communicate the illusion and its (powerful) semantics to the viewer, through achieving technical soundness. One area technically that stood out to me was the way the extraneous lines implied by perspective and spatial placement of the t-shirt in the scene, which I had purposefully made sure were there compositionally, did not match up as accurately as I intended. This was in contrast to my main influences for these photographs: Georges Rousse’s single perspective installations, where by ‘carefully constructing the scene and then positioning the camera so that the illusion is complete’ he is ‘crafting another dimension into the picture plane’ (Cotton, 2009) and Richard T. Walker’s ‘us through this’ (2013) series, where the extraneous lines matched up very accurately. The reason I placed so much importance on this technical accuracy was in part because I felt I had implemented the picture-in-picture and single perspective idea slightly different to Rousse and Walker and so wanted to show how my work was similar but different, which I felt would be more apparent if the illusion was obvious.
- How close I was to the camera
- How big the image was printed on the t-shirt
- How far away I was from the landscape features (this also affected perspective)
- The focal length of the lens
All of these variables meant caprturing an accurate shot was more challenging than it might have first appeared. I also had to have an accomplice to help me line up the ‘destination’ shots with and I found their help essential. However, I was adamant that I should be the one taking the shots for a reason. I thought it made more semantic sense. The ‘see-through’ window-to-my-soul concept was my idea and I wanted to communicate that directly with the viewer. This was symbolised by the remote shutter in my hand visible, showing my acknowledgment of the selfie type image, prevalent at the moment, which a typical tourist might take on a journey to Brighton beach but of course in a manner that was different because of the ‘see-through’ window. One photographer I was influenced by to actually include the remote shutter in the frame was Russell Squires in his series A Lone Tour (2014). Here, he used a cable release rather than a remote shutter but in my opinion the effect was the same: to make the viewer aware that this was a contrived ’selfie’ shot and maybe also that you, the photographer, were also aware of the viewer.
Camera settings for Photographs 8, 9 and 10 were:
Photograph 8: f/8, 1/125s, ISO 100, focal length 16mm. A tripod and wireless remote were used.
Photograph 9: f/8, 1/640s, ISO 320, focal length 15mm. A tripod and wireless remote were used.
Photograph 10: f/8, 1/125s, ISO 100, focal length 11mm. A tripod and wireless remote were used.
Rousse, G. (2000). Mairet. [Photograph] In. Cotton, C. (2009). The Photograph as Contemporary Art. 2nd ed. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd.
Squires, R. (2014). A Lone Tour. [Photograph] Available at: http://russellsquires.co.uk/a-lone-tour/ [Accessed 24 Jun. 2015].
Walker, R. (2013). us through this. [Photograph] Available at: http://www.richardtwalker.net/us-through-this [Accessed 24 Jun. 2015].